Microsoft buys stake in Linux/Unix management vendor

Microsoft IT Forum: Microsoft has aligned itself with a Linux and Unix system management company through a partnership deal

Microsoft has made an undisclosed investment in Vintela, a company that aims to consolidate management tools for several operating systems, this week.

Vintela has developed an application called Vintela Systems Manager (VSM), which is built on Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 (MOM). It lets a system administrator manage different systems in different environments -- such as Linux, Unix and Mac OS X.

VSM does not support the management of Windows applications, though, which is where the relationship with MOM is valuable.

Vintela has worked with Microsoft for a number of years, and already sells products based on Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 products that integrate Unix and Linux applications with Windows environments.

"One of the biggest problems is that Microsoft builds the best products for managing Microsoft products," said Dave Wilson, president of Vintela.

Microsoft is said to be providing technical support for the product, which will be available in the New Year.

"Customers were asking for an end-to-end solution," said David Hamilton, director of the Windows and enterprise division at Microsoft. "They were frustrated with management software. But now they can get the best of both worlds."

According to Hamilton, the user interface for the program is similar to Outlook and was designed to look familiar to reduce training costs.

The partnership was announced a day after Microsoft declared its new relationship with Dell. Under the terms of the deal, Dell will offer Microsoft SMS 2003 in a bid to simplify the job of administrating and updating thousands of machines.

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